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Unfrosted


“Unfrosted”

Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, and Melissa McCarthy
Rated: PG-13

Now Streaming on Netflix

First Impression: While it has its moments and plenty of funny characters, “Unfrosted,” which is legendary standup comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s directorial debut, falls mostly flat under the weight of its absurd space-race style premise of tension between breakfast cereal behemoths Post and Kellogg’s to create the most fabled of breakfast pastries: the Pop-Tart.


If you are a fan of the show “Seinfeld,” or in my case a super-fan, who can quote characters’ famous lines and recall in which episode the line was said—with ease—it’s been kind of a bittersweet year. We saw the series finale of the show “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” created by Larry David, the guy who co-created “Seinfeld” with Jerry Seinfeld. “Curb” ran for 12 seasons over the course of the last 24 years. The show is a showcase for Larry David (who plays a fictional version of himself) to show off his “neurotic Zen.” His insecurities and unique complaints about societal norms and culture have become legend and lore for people who never wanted “Seinfeld” to end… it was an endearing love letter to fans of the original show, about nothing.


And that’s where I’m perplexed by some of the choices Jerry Seinfeld made, post-”Seinfeld.” Some of his most notable recent work has been kind of head scratching, to say the least. It started in 2008, when he announced he was making a new animated movie called “Bee Movie” where bees went on strike and sued the human race for the return of their honey. What? Really, Jerry? You take ten years off from doing anything noteworthy in Hollywood and you come back with bees? Maybe I was taken aback because “Seinfeld” was such a cutting-edge show—it wasn’t afraid to tackle any issue of its day and wasn’t afraid of the controversy that followed. So, in hindsight, maybe it was Larry David who was pushing Jerry Seinfeld this whole time? It’s hard to try to determine what motivates an artist to take the chances and choose the projects they do, but I really did enjoy when Jerry focused on his stand-up comedy. I loved his film “Comedian,” (2000) in which he returned to the world of stand-up comedy, and later his Netflix show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” where he would showcase a famous comedian friend, taking them out for coffee and to pick their brains. This is where Jerry is at his best: when he’s analyzing where he’s making assumptions and forming ideas with his peers. It’s amazing and very much like seeing the tv show “Seinfeld” rematerializing before your very eyes.


So, when I watched his latest project, “Unfrosted,” I was again scratching my head as to why he would make such a big fuss about the creation of something like the Pop-Tart? Maybe it’s because of Jerry’s love of cereal—a well known fact from his show: he notoriously had at least 12 boxes of cereal in his apartment at all times. Maybe he just wanted to have fun with his friends, notably Jim Gaffigan and Amy Shumer, who are obviously having lots of fun playing rival cereal makers Kellogg and Post? In the end, don’t overthink it. It’s a fun romp with plenty of noticeable cameos and nostalgia for boomers and gen x to gobble up by the cereal bowl.

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